of the latest round of local council elections (click herefor the LGCnet Elections 2004 mini-site).
For the first time since the Local Government Association's formation in 1997, the chair will be nominated by the Conservative party grouping this year. By convention the association chooses its chair from the largest single political party
The changes take effect at the LGA's July general assembly at the annual
conference in Bournemouth, when the Conservatives will decide their
nomination. The current vice-chair of the LGA, who holds the position on the
Conservative group's behalf, is Sandy Bruce-Lockhart, who is also the
leader of Kent CC.
Brian Briscoe, LGA chief executive said: 'The LGA represents councils of
all political persuasions across the country. Our strength is our ability
to speak with a common voice, not on behalf of any one interest group, but
on behalf of local government as a whole. This is an exciting time and we
look forward to continuing to put local government's case with passion and
'Political parties at the LGA have successfully put local government first
in making an impact with government, and I have no doubt this will
The all-party association calculates its political balance based on the
political make-up of the number of sitting councillors represented across
the country, weighted for population and council-type. Control of each
executive and spokespeople is shared out to all the parties on a
Subject to independent verification by the University of Plymouth,
Conservatives are now the largest single group, with 35.8 per cent (up from
34.4 per cent). Labour has 34.9 per cent (down from 37.8 per cent).
Liberal Democrats hold 21.8 per cent of the LGA's voting strength (up from
20.7 per cent) and the independent councillors represent 7.5 per cent of
councillor strength in the country (up from 7 per cent).
The LGA remains an organisation driven by cross-party consensus, with no
single party being in a position of overall control.